In our culture age is such an important aspect of our lives we can hardly imagine not knowing when the actual date of our birth is. We celebrate the passing of birthdays with in our family similar to other national holidays. I find myself pondering the civil registration and vital statistics bill introduced to the floor by the Ministry of Capacity building and wonder-what the cultural impact on the nation would be.
We in a highly developed nation know that vital statistics would be fantastic for supplying aid and infrastructure planning-but this bill is being introduced in Addis where celebrating birthdays is widely accepted and a part of their more modernized lifestyle. What would the impact on the average rural Ethiopian be (remember-the majority of Ethiopian population is not in Addis)?
Would there be new offices built in the rural areas-would there be tax implications-would people feel more like "big brother is watching"...there are these fear factors for some, but mostly- I sit here with a grin on my face and simply consider the cultural pros and cons. (a pro for the adoption world- actual birth certificates).
I think of the farmer-with is 10 children- celebrating the births of his/her children-with a huge grin-The image I have is an older candle lit in the middle of a piece of injera or a false banana like kocho or enset (laugh) sitting in the middle of the table- and the family and neighbors singing their local dialect of Happy Birthday with big grins. I can't help but smile at this image-laugh. How would one feel when they know their actual age and then also know the life expectancy in the area they life in? How would being young and getting older change-after all you are now "measuring your life". How would the woman, who in most of Ethiopia, does not tell her age to anyone-now feel-about everyone on her marriage, death, and birthing knowing her actual age-laugh.
The days on the long road of one families Ethiopian Adoption
This blog started out as a way to record the twists, turns, highs and lows in my families journey to adopt siblings from Ethiopia. Now our children are home and we have just finished celebrating our first year as a family.
I'm Kimberly (or Fendesha), an adventurous person who aspires to be a vagabond- but for now- I spend all of my free time travelling and my down time thinking of travelling. I'm a mom of 3 (the oldest being my gorgeous canine companion), a IT project manager, and on occasion I find myself the primary writer of this blog.
Happy Reading and thank you for stopping by.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Hey- would you believe I've been a mom for 6 months now? Or should I say- are you kidding- it's only been 6 months?? Seriously- only 6 months.
Becoming the parent was the easy part- thinking back to how difficult I found the "wait" and filling out the paperwork, and then the wait and the paperwork and the wait.. did ohh-and did I say wait-laugh. The lack of information through the whole process as the years and months passed was very difficult- especially after I saw the children's photos. But then one day- that day I'd been dreaming of- with my heart racing- I went to visit the orphanage-to meet, to touch my little angles I've been imagining for so long. That day was beyond anything I could have imagined and every day since has followed in those footsteps. Getting on the plane and "becoming a mom" was the easy part- each day since "feeling like a mom" has been much much more difficult.
The highs are as high as I've experiences as are the lows....and the in-betweens are full of laughter and grinding my teeth. Is everyday good- no of course not-but the good moments outweigh the challenges- even it the good lasted 10 minutes and the remaining balance of the day terrible. Is it getting easier- sure it is.. I find every couple of months- I think to myself- we feel like a family now. Of course, I still recall what my life was like before they joined us- and I treasure those days- sometimes wondering why I didn't treasure them even more when we had them.
But mostly- I've enjoyed watching Denis grow into a father, I've enjoyed feeling and reflecting on the changes in myself as I "become a mom"- and the amount the children have changed is no other word but "shocking"! I've learned to laugh -at everything- from poop on the carpet, the mistakes I make, the mistakes they make... I just laugh... oh and when I'm not laughing I breath deeep very very deeep..I've never inhaled so much oxygen.
So in a nutshell - I've learned that "becomming" a mom to two toddlers at the same time is about letting go and when I can't "let it go" -I've learned to privately cry or put myself in a time out. I've learned to try not to "sweat the big or the small stuff". It's simply about letting go of everything- and just going with the flow of things. Yes, this means you will use items that later will not be determined "safe", yes they will see a movie- you would perhaps later "wished you didn't show them", you will say things and teach them things- you shouldn't have. Yes-other peoples kind suggestions will get exhausting, and on some days other people's stares or comments will "get to you". Yes, they will puke on your leather seats, and on your cloth ones, and in your bed and drool in your mouth. You will learn how to do dishes and laundry like never before (you will find that parenting is more than 60% cleaning up after the children-only now you'll find you sing while you are doing it). They will drive you crazy absolutely crazy and when you've reached your limit- they'll push you off the cliff- of course you might hear them add in an Ooooppps.. as you're falling. You'll learn a new respect for your family and loved ones and wonder how you ever survived your own childhood.
Some of the best parenting advice I've been given is "throw away all of the sharpies"- "wing it while being the best you can be", and "laugh often". I've failed at all of these-but I've learned as I messed up, I've laughed while falling off the cliff, and I've forgiven myself for my mistakes.
My time out's over- back to parenting...
Referral photo - December 2008
Opening Gifts from 2 and 4 Birthday Party - October 2009